March 12, 2021 2.53 pm This story is over 37 months old

Police arrest man but won’t condone paedophile hunters’ behaviour

Police distanced themselves from these groups

By Local Democracy Reporter

Police arrested a 26-year-old Boston man after a group of paedophile hunters confronted him about alleged indecent conversations with what he believed were underage children.

A video emerged online from a group called Sting Awareness UK, where they live-streamed their confrontation and questioning of a man in Fishtoft on Thursday, March 11.

The video was uploaded to YouTube, but has since been removed from the platform for violating harassment and bullying policies due to the perceived aggressive nature of the sting.

The video was flagged and removed for violating YouTube guidelines.

They were seen to drag the man to the ground and restrain him throughout, despite the consistent cries of “I can’t breathe” from the suspect.

Officers attended an address on Clifton Road in Fishtoft at 1.30pm on Friday and arrested the 26-year-old.

He was issued with a caution for inappropriate online contact with a child under the age of 16.

He will also be placed on the sex offenders register, though it is unsure how long this will be for.

The man can be seen shouting for them to let go while he is being restrained.

Police have also said that they are investigating any breaches of coronavirus lockdown regulations from the hunter group.

They were wearing masks throughout the whole video, but question marks linger over whether this can be deemed as essential travel.

The group’s last sting was on December 23 when they travelled to Blackpool to expose someone.

When asked if the force condones this type of behaviour from a group of hunters who are not on police books, a spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police referred to the National Chief’s Police council guidance.

The man became increasingly uncomfortable as he was tightly gripped by hunters.

The guidance states: “We do not endorse these groups and will not work with them. Unlike our officers these groups don’t offer any protection to victims, and their evidence is often poor.

“There are legitimate ways for the public to support the police and share information. Protecting children is a policing priority.

“We carry out our own investigations into any sexual offences and we have specially trained officers who work undercover to gather intelligence and evidence to prevent or detect a wide range of crime types – including terrorism and extremism, child sexual abuse, organised crime, serious public disorder and much more.”